Mr. Charlton Gains Some Weight

It’s no surprise that most of us have gained a little covid weight since the pandemic started. The routine of biking to work, going to the gym, or playing any kind of organized sports has been severely disrupted in the last year, and everyone’s waistline has paid a bit of a price. Mine was no exception, and between March and the end of two thousand and twenty, I had easily gained twenty pounds, which is exactly the same as four bags of potatoes.
It’s like I decided to stuff four bags of these all over my body…

I went from a slightly over-weight 185lbs. to an uncomfortable 206lbs. After doing two and a half years of school, working a part time job and a terrible habit of eating badly for most of my meals, I had finally topped two hundred pounds and continued to get heavier. It’s been the most I’ve tipped the scales at any point of my life. After gorging myself with therapy snacks over the Christmas break, I told myself that enough was enough, and I was going to get my weight back under control, and get back into some pants I had not been able to wear for well over a decade.

To preface this story, my weight has been slowly creeping up, ever so slowly, ever since I’ve been about twenty. Putting on maybe half a pound a year. 20 year old Mr. Charlton weighed in at 155 pounds, which at 5’11” is right on the lower end of ‘regular weight’ for someone my height. At 205, that was one point away from being obese. I went from being a skinny in-shape guy, straight to being not just overweight, but actually on the tipping point of a dangerous size.

Now, I understand that not everyone falls under this BMI umbrella, I’m well aware of the various somatotypes, and I get that for some people, being 5’11” and 205 lbs. is not a big deal. For me, it was a big deal. I wasn’t working out in any capability. I was eating too much. I sat down for most of the day. It wasn’t just my weight that was an issue, it was my entire lifestyle. I turn 38 this year, and I’ll be goddamned if I’m going into my forties as someone who doesn’t love how they feel. At the beginning of the year, I decided to do something about it and began my journey to a happier and healthier body. And I fuckin’ dropped close to 40lbs. in the span of three months.

This picture was at about 190lbs. I don’t have one at 206. Imagine this image with 4 more bags of potatoes strapped to me.

So how on earth did I do it?

I started intermittent fasting, only eating my meals between 4:00pm and 10:00pm. While doing that, I also increased my probiotics through fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. I started walking a lot more, walking up to 16 kms in a day with my mom when we had the chance. I asked my workplace if I could work form the office instead of home, and started first walking there every morning, and then graduating to biking there instead. And about three weeks ago, I took the plunge into beginning a workout routine again, first thing in the morning. On my way to work, after getting my heart rate up on the bicycle, I would stop off at an elementary school and do a body-weight workout on the monkey bars. The first four months of the year I’ve been slimming down, and at the beginning of May, I’m going to turn it around, change my diet to include a post workout meal, and try bulking up a bit.

Words can’t describe how much better I feel, but fuck, I am writing things down on a blog, so let me just try and paint a picture for you. I have more energy, I have no trouble getting up in the morning at 6:00am, walking up the stairs no longer winds me, I’m not as hungry as I was before, I have a lot less stress in my life, I’m certain my blood pressure is down, my mental health has improved, I drink more water, I drink less alcohol and coffee, I get excited to go work out, my face is slimmer, my legs don’t rub together anymore and chafe, I can stretch easier, I sleep better, it’s no longer painful to throw my arm around my wife when I sleep, and I generally look more attractive.

The downsides are there too. I can’t eat nearly as much cake as I used to, I find Cheezies a little too salty now, packaged ramen no longer holds any appeal, I’m a lightweight when it comes to booze, eating too much makes me feel way worse, coffee gives me the jitters now, most of my pants are falling off me, I might have to buy a new belt, and I can no longer play my stomach like a bongo.


I’m not trying to fat shame people, and I’m not trying to make people feel guilty about any of the weight they may have gained over the pandemic. For me, I hit a tipping point. A point where I could no longer look and feel the way I did and continue to be happy. I’ve been talking about getting into shape since I was 23, and it only took fourteen years to actually get that on track. If you’re reading this, I want you to know that you can do it. It’s not easy, and it’s not fun in the beginning. But once you start to feel better, there’s no going back. I’m going straight into the fitness game this summer, boys and girls and others. I have no idea what a post-pandemic life will look like, but I can absolutely assure you that I’m going into it as shredded as I can possibly be, because right now there’s not a hell of a lot else to do.


The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. Yeah, it’s been a while. School’s done, life is a little more stable, and might as well get back into the swing of things by writing about my sorry self.

p.s.s. I do another update in three or four months. I want to see how quick I can get beefcakey.

Mr. Charlton Learns to Deal With Grief (Alternatively, Mr. Charlton Punches Death in the Sack)

If you have just recently tuned into “From the Desk of the Illustrious Mr. Charlton”, you may have made the mistake that somehow I’ve become an obituary writer. Three of my last several posts have been about someone in my family dying. I’m not actually interested in writing about anyone pushing up daisies.

In the last four years, I’ve lost my father, two uncles, my aunt, my cousin, my dog, my grandparents, and a couple of my friends. Not everyone on the list was especially close to me, but everyone was family. Although I can’t always grieve with you, my heart can always go out to you, ’cause I know what it’s like to lose someone you love.

The silver lining is I’m become somewhat an expert on grieving. Ever since my old man died, people have remarked how well I deal with people kicking the bucket, and today I’m going to treat you folks to a handy little guide that will help you navigate the rough seas of loss.


Why don’t you suck an egg, Death?

  1. You are going to be sad, and that’s perfectly okay. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to hug people like you’ve never hugged people before. Don’t try and fight the sadness. Let it out of your body, or else it’ll stay there and start to rot you from the inside.
  2. You are going to have people tell you how they think you should feel, and that’s not okay. After my dad died, I had a lot of people asking me if I was angry. When I mentioned I wasn’t, they said “Well, you will be”. Who the hell was I supposed to be mad at? My dad, for dying in an accident? Was I going to be mad at Scuba Diving, which is one of the safest sports in the world? Was I going to pick a fight with the sea where he drowned? Thanks skips. I’m angry now, but I’m angry at you for telling me what I should be going through.
  3. Treat yourself and be nice to yourself. Before Pookie passed away, me and Kat had been on a strict diet. We’re now sorta back on it, but for two weeks we basically ate ice cream and takeout. We took a trip to Calgary and stayed with friends. I ate a lot of tacos. You can get back on the workout regime once you’ve grieved.
  4. Accept that not everyone is going to grieve along side you. In the same way you can’t morn for every dying person on the planet, you can’t expect everyone to join you on the sorrow train. You can only feel so much sadness for someone you don’t know. With that said…
  5. There’s only so much sadness you can experience. Being miserable takes a lot of energy, and your body can only do so much of it. Remember tip number #1? The faster you let the grief flow out of you, the faster you will heal. But…
  6. You’re always going to be a little sad. There’s going to be a little spot in your heart that’s blank now, and there’s not a thing on planet earth that will fill it. That’s part of life.
  7. Death is part of life. The very end of it, to be exact. Everyone is going to pass that gate eventually. And it’s not as bad as people would make it out. Sure, it’s hard to say goodbye to friends and family, but what would happen if people stopped dying? We’d have too many people, and life would be like a crappy club with jerks shoulder to shoulder. People say life is short, but my life will be the longest thing I’ll ever do. Fifty to a hundred years is plenty.

With that all said, there’s only one way to give Death the middle finger. If you lost someone close to you, spite the Grim Reaper by living life. Have a cocktail, learn a new language, go back to school, try stand up comedy, paint a picture, go for a bike ride, jump out a plane, dry age a cut of beef for 100 days and get your friends together to eat it. I’d be damn upset if my funeral is a bunch of mopey wads sitting around crying a bunch.


Hey Death? I’m growing LIFE on my patio! How do you like them apples?

With this in mind, and baring decently laws (you might have to hold my funeral in international waters), here’s my plan for my wake. There will be a nice spread of food and spirits. I’m probably going to want a bunch of animals stuffed inside other animals then smoked for a good long time. The main attraction will be a large circus cannon setup in the middle, with a large target set none too far away. I want my limp corpse stuff inside, and then guests can take turns firing my body at the target in exchange for prizes.

With a funeral like that, how could anyone walk away upset?


The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. To all my family out there grieving, you have my love.

p.s.s. I keep bringing up this fantastic idea with my mother and my girlfriend, but apparently firing my dead body at a giant target would be traumatizing for some. WHAT ABOUT MY NEEDS?

p.s.s.s. I also tend to be pretty stoic about things. That seems to help.